“With each new season is the perfect opportunity to do something new, something bold, something beautiful”

After this weekend, August will be gone – which means a new month and a new season! I love fall. From the cooler temps to football to pumpkin everything, it’s a great time of year. In the running world, September also means races nearly every weekend.

This made me think how my training life is similar to the changing of seasons. Up until this week, most of my summer has been focused on triathlon training. Now, it’s back to speed work for racing season. Similar to summer, fall, winter and spring, I’ve identified my own four seasons: marathon, triathlon, racing and off.

An entire season of training for one race

An entire season of training for one race

Marathon Season
Mid-Winter to Late Spring – The longest of all the training seasons, marathon season tends to be the most intense. For the past six years, I’ve run one full marathon every year; the Fargo Marathon in May. This gives me early January and on to devote to marathon training – and devote do I! Running becomes the center of my world. The weekdays are all about mileage totals, speed work goals, trying to fit in strength training and reigning in a wicked appetite. Friday nights become full-on relaxation time, all in preparation for early Saturday morning long runs. Oddly, I take major comfort in all that structure, discipline and routine. Marathon Season is great!

Triathlon Season
Most of Summer – With my decision to venture into the Olympic-distance realm this year, triathlon season was extended a bit longer than previous years. In North Dakota, we only have about three months of summer, making it absolutely imperative to take advantage and do at least one outdoor triathlon. I’ve come to enjoy tris so much, I’m debating the idea of starting Triathlon Season even earlier to accommodate at least one more event next summer.

Race Season is time to rack up events - and maybe some awards!

Race Season is time to rack up events – & maybe awards!

Racing Season
Early Fall – I love the cooler temperatures that come in September and October, and I run my fastest in this type of weather. This, along with the abundance of shorter races in Fargo, makes early fall ideal for my focus on speed, and running races, not just for fun, but to place. I get ultra-competitive and – sometimes – can be too hard on myself if I don’t win or perform as well as I feel I should. Good thing Racing Season tends to be the shortest one of all!

Off Season
Late Fall to Early Winter – When I say Off Season I don’t mean I sit around and hibernate all winter. In the world of training, this is typically the time I don’t have something specific I’m working towards, other than health, maintenance, mood, and just life and being awesome in general. I tend to focus the Off Season on heavy lifting, as I know that’s the area that typically goes by the wayside when Marathon Season kicks into high gear – holy crap, it’s already almost Marathon Season again!

Does your workout regime follow a pattern like mine? Do you have different “seasons” to your training? Tell me about them; post a comment or tweet me @runlikeagirl311.

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